Cover image for Kisscut
Title:
Kisscut
Author:
Slaughter, Karin, 1971-
Personal Author:
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : William Morrow, [2002]

©2002
Physical Description:
341 pages ; 24 cm
Language:
English
Geographic Term:
ISBN:
9780688174590
Format :
Book

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X Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense
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Summary

Summary

Saturday night dates at the skating rink have been a tradition in the small southern town of Heartsdale for as long as anyone can remember, but when a teenage quarrel explodes into a deadly shoot-out, Sara Linton -- the town's pediatrician and medical examiner -- finds herself entangled in a terrible tragedy.

What seemed at first to be a horrific but individual catastrophe proves to have wider implications. The autopsy reveals evidence of long-term abuse, of ritualistic self -mutilation, but when Sara and police chief Jeffrey Tolliver start to investigate, they are frustrated at every turn.

The children surrounding the victim close ranks. The families turn their backs. Then a young girl is abducted, and it becomes clear that the first death is linked to an even more brutal crime, one far more shocking than anyone could have imagined. Meanwhile, detective Lena Adams, still recovering from her sister's death and her own brutal attack, finds herself drawn to a young man who might hold the answers. But unless Lena, Sara, and Jeffrey can uncover the deadly secrets the children hide, it's going to happen again...


Author Notes

Karin Slaughter was born in Georgia on January 6, 1971. In 2001, she published her first novel, Blindsighted, which made the Dagger Award shortlist for Best Thriller Debut. She is the author of the Grant County series and the Will Trent series. Her stand-alone novels include Cop Town, Pretty Girls, and Pieces of Her.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

This is Slaughter's harrowing follow-up to her brutally graphic best-seller Blindsighted [BKL Ag 01], again featuring pediatrician Sara Linton; her ex-husband, police chief Jeffrey Tolliver; and detective Lena Adams. Jeffrey is struggling emotionally in the aftermath of a shooting. Teenager Jenny Weaver in effect committed suicide by forcing Jeffrey to shoot her in a standoff, and he is desperate to uncover the motive behind her rash actions. Sara, who was Jenny's doctor and also doubles as the town coroner, must now perform the autopsy, and what she discovers shocks the law-enforcement team: Jenny had undergone a very crude form of female castration. Lena, who is wrestling with her own dark side and seems on the verge of a nervous breakdown, and Jeffrey, unable to sleep and haunted by images of shooting Jenny, must conduct the investigation, which leads them to a lucrative child pornography ring. In a tension-filled narrative with plenty of plot twists, Slaughter, borrowing a page from Andrew Vachss and his Burke books, portrays the sinister world of child sexual abuse and the seemingly nondescript ringleaders who profit from it This is just the ticket for readers who like their crime fiction on the dark side. --Joanne Wilkinson


Publisher's Weekly Review

Aptly named novelist Slaughter (Blindsighted) brings back her horribly scarred cast of Grant County, Ga., cops and coroners for more murder, mayhem and horrific sexual violence. Pathologist Sara Linton, who has been dating her ex-husband, police chief Jeffrey Tolliver, is witness to Tolliver's fatal shooting of a teenage girl when the girl threatens to shoot a 16-year-old boy in a standoff outside the local skating rink. A search of the rink turns up a dismembered fetus in a toilet; Sara's postmortem reveals the girl had a long history of abuse most gruesomely, her vagina is sewn shut. Working the case alongside Jeffrey is Det. Lena Adams, herself the victim of a recent abduction and rape, who is also trying, with difficulty, to come to terms with the death of her gay sister. Questioning Mark, the boy who was almost shot, Lena gradually uncovers a true horror show of pedophilia, incest and kiddie porn, an inverted world where parents rape their children before peddling them to strangers for money and blackmail. Slaughter adheres to the traditional mystery format, but turns up the shock factor tenfold, demonstrating that the deepest depravity can be business as usual in small towns as well as big cities. The undertone of violence is pervasive, even at quiet moments ("Lena was able to pull her hand away, but not before she felt Grace's thumb brush across the scar.... The touch was tender, almost sexual, and Lena could see the charge Grace got out of it"), amplifying Slaughter's equation of intimacy with menace and placing her squarely in the ranks of Cornwell and Reichs. (Sept.) Forecast: Slaughter's much-praised first novel, Blindsighted, put her on the thriller map. Kisscut, a featured alternate selection of the Literary Guild, Doubleday Book Club, Mystery Guild and BOMC, could make her a bestseller. 10-city author tour. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Library Journal Review

Slaughter's second novel picks right up where her acclaimed debut, Blindsighted, left off-with Grant County, GA, pediatrician/coroner Sara Linton fighting crime with Jeffrey Tolliver, her ex-husband and the chief of police. It all starts one hot night in the parking lot of a skating rink: teenager Jenny Weaver is threatening to shoot Mark Patterson, but before she can pull the trigger, Jeffrey is forced to kill her. Was Jenny the mother of the 23-week-old fetus that Sara finds in the skating rink bathroom? Was Mark the father? Had he jilted Jenny, earning her wrath? Sara's autopsy answers some of these questions; Jenny was most certainly not the mother, as she had been a victim of genital mutilation and had her vagina sewn shut. This first disturbing discovery leads to many others, and before the week is out many dark secrets involving child pornography, pedophilia, and incest are exposed. With the same graphic detail found in her first novel and in those by Patricia Cornwell and Kathy Reichs, Slaughter has again written a fast-paced thriller for those not faint of heart. Recommended for most public library thriller collections. [Literary Guild, Doubleday Book Club, Mystery Guild, and BOMC alternate selections; previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 6/15/02.]-Rebecca House Stankowski, Purdue Univ. Calumet Lib., Hammond, IN (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Excerpts

Excerpts

Kisscut Chapter One "Dancing Queen," Sara Linton mumbled with the music as she made her way around the skating rink. "Young and sweet, only seventeen." She heard a furious clicking of wheels to her left and turned just in time to catch a small child before he crashed into her. "Justin?" she asked, recognizing the seven year old. She held him up by the back of his shirt as his ankles wobbled over his in-line skates. "Hey, Dr. Linton," Justin managed around gasps for breath. His helmet was too big for his head, and he pushed it back several times as he tried to look up at her. Sara returned his smile, trying not to laugh. "Hello, Justin." "I guess you like this music, huh? My mom likes it, too." He stared at her openly, his lips slightly parted. Like most of Sara's patients, Justin seemed a bit shocked to see her outside of the clinic. Sometimes she wondered if they thought she lived in the basement there, waiting for them to get colds or fevers so she could see them. "Anyway," Justin pushed back his helmet again, knocking himself in the nose with his elbow pad. "I saw you singing it." "Here," Sara offered, leaning down to adjust the chin strap. The music in the rink was so loud that Sara could feel the bass vibrating through the plastic buckle as she tightened it under his chin. "Thanks," Justin yelled, then for some reason he put both his hands on top of the helmet, as if to rest them. The motion threw him off balance, and he stumbled, clamping on to Sara's leg. Sara grabbed his shirt again and led them both over to the safety railing lining the rink. After trying on a pair of in-line skates herself, Sara had asked for the old four-wheel kind, not wanting to fall on her ass in front of half the town. "Wow." Justin giggled, throwing his arms over the railing for support. He was looking down at her skates. "Your feet are so huge!" Sara looked down at her skates, feeling a flush of embarrassment. She had been teased about her large feet since she was seven years old. After nearly thirty years of hearing it, Sara still felt the urge to hide under the bed with a bowl of chocolate-fudge ice cream. "You're wearing boy's skates!" Justin screeched, letting go of the rail so that he could point at her black skates. Sara caught him just before he hit the ground. "Sweety," Sara whispered politely into his ear. "Remember this when you're due for your booster shots." Justin managed a smile for his pediatrician. "I think my mom wants me," he mumbled, edging along the rail, hand over hand, casting a wary eye over his shoulder to make sure Sara was not following him. She crossed her arms, leaning against the railing as she watched him go. Sara loved kids, a characteristic most pediatricians shared, but there was something to be said for not spending her Saturday night surrounded by them. "That your date?" Tessa asked, coming to a stop beside her. Sara gave her sister a hard look. "Remind me how I got roped into this." Tessa tried to smile. "Because you love me?" "Right," Sara returned caustically. Across the rink, Sara picked out Devon Lockwood, Tessa's latest boyfriend, who also worked in the Linton family's plumbing business. Devon was leading his nephew around the kiddy rink while his brother watched. "His mother hates me," Tessa mumbled. "She gives me nasty looks every time I get near him." "Daddy's the same way about us," Sara reminded her. Devon noticed them staring and waved. "He's good with children," Sara noted, returning his wave. "He's good with his hands," Tessa said in a low voice, almost to herself. She turned back to Sara. "Speaking of which, where's Jeffrey?" Sara looked back at the front entrance, wondering that herself. Wondering, too, why she cared whether or not her ex-husband showed up. "I don't know," she answered. "When did this place get so packed?" "It's Saturday night and football season hasn't started; what else are people going to do?" Tessa asked, but did not let Sara change the subject. "Where's Jeffrey?" "Maybe he won't come." Tessa smiled in a way that let Sara know she was holding back a snide comment. "Go ahead and say it." "I wasn't going to say anything," Tessa said, and Sara could not tell if she was lying or not. "We're just dating." Sara paused, wondering whom she was trying to convince, Tessa or herself. She added, "It's not even serious." "I know." "We've barely even kissed." Tessa held up her palms in resignation. "I know," she repeated, a smirk on her lips. "Just a few dates. That's all." "You don't have to convince me." Sara groaned as she leaned back against the railing. She felt stupid, like a teenager instead of a grown woman. She had divorced Jeffrey two years ago after catching him with the woman who owned the sign shop in town. Why she had started seeing him again was as much a mystery to Sara as it was to her family. A ballad came on, and the lights dimmed. Sara watched the mirrored ball drop down from the ceiling, scattering little squares of light all over the rink. "I need to go to the bathroom," Sara told her sister. "Will you keep an eye out for Jeff?" Tessa glanced over Sara's shoulder. "Somebody just went in." "There are two stalls now." Sara turned toward the women's rest room just in time to see a large teenage girl go in. Sara recognized the girl as Jenny Weaver, one of her patients. She waved, but the girl didn't see her. Tessa muttered, "Hope you can wait." Kisscut . Copyright © by Karin Slaughter. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold. Excerpted from Kisscut by Karin Slaughter All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.